— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) February 7, 2017
As we are aware by now, returning Sports Illustrated model Christie Brinkley and her daughters, Alexa Joel and Sailor Cook appear in this year’s Swimsuit Issue. Since the issue’s theme is ‘body diversity and age inclusivity’, the message the three are promoting is that most people feel bad about themselves at some point, even those deemed worthy to model. It’s a good message and it always helps to hear that even the privileged have the same doubts we do. Unfortunately, this particular message comes from a place of real pain because both girls were taunted online for their appearance and Christie had to not only read these things being said about her girls but watch what it did to their self-esteem. Worse, she couldn’t do anything about it.
The trio are happy with the end result, but Joel, whose dad is singer Billy Joel, was a bit nervous at first. “I was completely freaked out as the non-model,” she admitted.
“[I was] definitely more excited,” Cook interjected. “I’ve wanted this my entire life.”
The trio also spoke about body insecurities and being in the public eye from a very young age. “I think growing up just as a girl, just as any young girl, you deal with body-image issues and you deal with seeing people on billboards that have these tiny bodies and these perfect airbrushed figures,” Cook said. “And you look at yourself growing up and you go through all these phases, awkward phases, and you don’t feel good enough. I definitely didn’t.”
Growing up in a famous family was especially hard for Alexa. The musician said that critics used to make fun of her face.
“The one thing that’s hard growing up in the public eye is when you happen to catch the criticism at about 9 years old for a girl. It’s crucial,” Brinkley said, tearing up. “That’s the age where they are sort of separating from their parents and gaining their own identity and to suddenly see a newspaper that calls you a name — and Alexa had to deal with that … It was excruciating as a mom. I could cry now.”
I posted a clip below. In in, Christie does start choking up when she talks about her kids getting attacked in the media. I know some of you have mixed feeling about Christie but I believe 100% that it destroyed her to witness that. Alexa specified that they used to say she had a ‘bow-wow face’. Bow-wow face – could you imagine being called that when you were nine? Could you imagine a nameless, faceless voice in the media calling your child/niece/nephew/godchild that? I realize Sailor has chosen the path of a model and will need to have a pretty thick skin for that, which it sounds like she’s grown. But she really shouldn’t have been subjected to it until she signed up for it, you know? And it sounds like she was, her whole life.
When Christie started crying in the clip, Alexa jumped in and said, “She cries at the drop of a hat.” Elsewhere in the article, Christie referred to Alexa being the boss on the set of the shoot and praised her for getting everyone else prepared. To this, Alexa responded, “I’m a bit of a control freak.” Ha! I know I liked her for a reason. In a few interviews I have watched with Alexa, she’ll crack a joke when the subject starts going deep. I, too, am a control freak and do the exact same thing. It’s not to mock the emotion but an attempt to protect the person from becoming vulnerable. It’s a knee-jerk thing. I am adding Alexa to my “Grab a Beer/Root Beer Float With” list. (That needs a better name.)
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) February 15, 2017
Photo credit: Twitter, Fame/Flynet and WENN Photos